Monday, February 23, 2009

Turn Off TV...Start Reading

Today I want to spotlight a book that has recently been made into a film for television. Gifted Hands is the true story about Dr. Ben Carson, written by Cecil Murphey. There are many positive things I could say about this story, but I want to focus on one critical aspect.

Young Ben struggled in school. He thought he was dumb, so did everyone around him, except his mother. She realized that he needed glasses, but she didn’t stop there. Next, Ben and his older brother were restricted to two hours of TV. Not two hours a day, but two hours a week!

She sent them to the library to check out books. Their mother required them to write a report after finishing each book. It wasn’t long before Ben began doing much better in math and reading. His grades went way up and he won the spelling contest in his class.

In the end, Dr Carson has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for nearly twenty-five years.

I would recommend that you read the book, and see the film if possible. It has been running on TNT.

My point? There may be several reasons why children are reluctant to read. But the distractions of television, computers, video games, cell phones and other technology are getting in the way of reading time. Parents often forget the power they have to positively influence their children.

You might begin today by cutting back on the technology in your children’s lives, and encouraging reading. Expect a strong, negative response, but stick to your guns. Your children will be the ultimate winners if you do. Just ask Dr. Carson.

Max Elliot Anderson
Books for Boys

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Great Book for Boys

If there is a boy in your home, family, or circle of friends, you’ll want to know about Dean’s Diggers by author/artist Eddie Ritz. I can tell you that if our son were growing up today, this is exactly the kind of book he would have reached for.

This unique book is colorful and informative as well as interactive. Each page contains pictures of heavy earthmoving equipment. There are flaps to open which highlight various items on each page.

The next to last page contains the alphabet and describes things like H for hammer, or W for wrench.

A favorite will surely be the puzzle on the last page. Its pieces are magnetic. They can either be stuck back onto their page, or applied to metal surfaces like your refrigerator or dishwasher.

Dean’s Diggers is a sturdy book that will hold up to lots of use, and that’s exactly what I believe this book will get.

In his promotion for the book, Eddie asks the question, “How do you get boys interested in Reading?” He answers that question with a wonderful book that you and your boys are sure to love. Find more information at

Max Elliot Anderson
Author of Action-Adventures & Mysteries especially for boys.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Daytona 500 - 2009

I’m just back from the Daytona 500. My son, an attorney in Chicago, and I have attended the race for the past several years. He flies in from Chicago, and I travel from Rockford. This year, my older sister joined us from Indiana. It’s nice because my daughter lives in the Orlando area where she teaches 2nd grade in a public school. So we have an opportunity to see her at the same time.

This year we had the best seats ever. We were near turn 1, in the 43rd row, which turned out to be the top row of our section. It had regular chairs instead of the bench seats of years past. We paid a little more, but it was worth it. From our seats, we were able to see the entire 2 ½ mile track for the first time. We also could watch the pit activity.

My son roots for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and I always cheer for Jeff Gordon. Both of our drivers were able to lead the race. But the event was shortened, by nearly 50 laps, because of rain.

In spite of that, we had a great time.

On the next day, we went to the Universal Studios theme park. In each of the rides, only half was working. Even though the crowds were not large, the wait was terrible, especially for the Mummy which took well over 2 hours…ugh!

We’re already making plans for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 next year.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader

Not long ago, I came across a web site called Boys Behavior, from Troy Parish. Because of our mutual interest in helping boys, Troy invited me to write an article.

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
You may use this article at no cost by going to:
Here it is available without the pictures. Those are
available by emailing